Sunday, December 16, 2012

iTunes 11’s False Simplicity

Lukas Mathis:

In order to get all of iTunes’ features to fit into this tiny bar, Apple had to completely overload all of the UI elements inside that bar. Its very difficult to form a correct mental model of an application that exposes the same kind of feature in very different ways (there are at least four different ways of jumping between different sections in iTunes), and uses the same kind of ui element for very different features (the exact same tabs, sitting side-by-side, are used to change how the current screen is shown, and to jump to an entirely different screen).

My experience is that users don’t like to see too many options at once, but that more items on screen where one is clearly the one you want is preferable to having to go through different modes to find the desired item that’s hidden.

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Wow. I tried the new iTunes UI for a few days, but gave up and switched back to the sidebar since I couldn't figure out how to reliably navigate back to where I wanted to be (usually my music list or iPhone), and searching the web to learn how to use iTunes seemed...lame. Apple seems to have hired Linux and Windows UI designers to come up with weird widgets and MDI interfaces wherever possible.

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